Socialist Worker

Students to hold national demonstration next week

by Suzie Wylie, NUS executive (personal capacity)
Issue No. 1989

Students from across the country will be heading to London next Wednesday for a national lobby of parliament called by the National Union of Students (NUS), followed by a demonstration.

Education is one of the key fronts in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s full spectrum ­neo?liberal offensive.

For the first time in six years university admissions for the next academic year have fallen. This will be the first year that students have been faced with £3,000 a year top-up fees.

Fees are the sharp end of a wider series of attacks on education. Years of underfunding of universities have led to the closure of courses, libraries, departments and campuses.

Charges for accommodation in student halls of residence are spiralling. Increasingly student accommodation is being sold off to private companies.

The “profit before people” attitude of New Labour is shifting the financial burden onto ordinary students, contributing to soaring student debt.

But students are not taking the attacks lying down. On Thursday of last week, 150 students at Sussex University took part in an angry demonstration against cuts.

They are now planning to hold a teach-in to discuss the issues and plan the way forward.

On Monday of this week, 200 students occupied the administration building at Swansea University following a demon­stration against a library closure.

Plans to close courses and privatise halls of residence added to the anger. The Swansea students were set to hold a further demonstration on Wednesday of this week.

Next Wednesday students from around the country will converge on Parliament Square, London, to lobby MPs demanding free education and an end to the neo-liberal attacks.

Following the lobby, students will hold a demonstration, called by the student unions at Manchester and Middlesex universities, and supported by the London Student newspaper.

Students should get their unions to back both actions, mobilise as many people as possible to attend and organise coaches down to Parliament Square.

Join the student lobby and demonstration. Assemble 12 noon, Wednesday 1 March, Parliament Square, central London.

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Sat 25 Feb 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1989
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